Home Vegetable Garden Variety Recommendations for Utah - Utah State University
extension.usu.edu HOME VEGETABLE GARDEN VARIETY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR UTAH Dan Drost, Vegetable Extension SpecialistApril 1996 HG 313T here are so many vegetable varieties available, how do you select good ones for the home garden? Which ones are adapted and grow well in my area? This bulletin gives you some answers to these questions. It lists some of the better vegetable varieties for Utah. Sincevarieties vary in disease resistance and maturity characteristics, it is important to select ones thatare adapted to our area. Should I grow a hybrid? Does it have disease resistance? When will itmature. What things should I think about before planting the garden?OPEN-POLLINATED VS . HYBRID VARIETIES Most vegetables grown were produced from open-pollinated varieties. Recently, hybridseeds have been marketed for use in the home garden. Hybrid varieties tend to be more vigorous,grow uniformly, have better disease resistance and greater productivity than open-pollinatedvarieties. Therefore, it is wise to compare varieties to determine which performs best in your area.DISEASE RESISTANCE Most hybrids and many open-pollinated varieties have resistance to some vegetablediseases. Selecting varieties with disease resistance can reduce crop loss in the home garden. Tryto use varieties with multiple disease resistance. Seed catalogs and seed packets list the disease towhich a variety is resistant.MATURITY CHARACTERISTICS The number of days to mature a vegetable varies. Early vegetables should mature in allareas of Utah. Crops with longer maturity periods and those that require warm temperatures maynot mature in areas of the state where early frosts occur. Consult your local county extensionoffice for information on the frost free period and planting dates for your area.OTHER FACTORS Before planting the garden, it is best to do some planning. Is the location acceptable? Isthe soil fertile? Is there water near by? Does the site receive enough light? Is it close to home orlarge enough for your families needs?
Consider these points about the vegetables you grow: Know what to plant Know when to plant Know when to harvest Be ready to replant Without proper planning space may not be utilized efficiently. Sketch out the garden area,select the vegetables you want, figure out your planting dates and match these to the availablespace. Think about the shading effects of tall plants on small plants. Plant the asparagus orrhubarb in a location where it will not interfere with the rest of the garden. Why plant broccoli ifno one eats it. Are you planting enough tomatoes to can or corn to freeze? Remember, someplants take up a lot of space but don’t yield a lot (e.g. corn). If space is at a premium, you maywant to grow something else. Think about growing vertical. Trellises, stakes, and fences are useful ways to grow morein a small area. Grow some plants in containers or among the flowers. Have you considered raisedbeds, broadcast seeding, square-foot gardening or hanging baskets to increase the amount ofusable space? Try succession planting, intercropping or companion planting to increase gardenproductivity. Plant small areas at set intervals to achieve a continuous supply of produce.Intercrop early maturing varieties with later maturing ones to increase space utilization. Growcrop which complement each other as companions.VARIETY SELECTION If you are not satisfied with your variety selections, this bulletin can offer somealternatives. Test that new variety next to the one you presently grow. Consult other resources(seed catalogs, gardening books, and magazines) for more information on new varieties andgrowing techniques. Talk to your local county extension educator, a knowledgeable gardener orfriend. These sources can advise you on what grows well in your area. Many seed companies are happy to send out their home gardening catalogs upon request.Some companies (see #3,#7) specialize in vegetables adapted to our growing conditions. It is bestto order seed from seed catalogs during the winter. This ensures that the company still has theseed and you will receive it in time to plant. Seeds may also be purchased from garden centers, discount stores, super markets andnurseries. However, these outlets may not have all the varieties listed in this publication. Consultyour garden center or nursery for specific information on variety availability. Often they havevarieties that are suited to that growing area. If you want specific varieties, ask if they can getthem. Most nurseries grow and sell varieties that people ask for. The varieties listed are ones that do well in most areas of Utah. The number in parentheses(65) indicates the approximate days to maturity from seed or transplanting. Crops normallytransplanted are also listed. The number under “SOURCES” refers to the seed companies listed atthe end of the bulletin. Hybrids are indicated by an (H). All American Selections (AAS) arevarieties that do well in all areas of the United States. Fruit, kernel, or tuber color is listed whereappropriate. Use the Vegetable Planting Chart to help plan in-row and between-row spacing andcommon planting dates for Utah. The exclusion of other varieties or seed companies from this list in no way indicates thatthey are undesirable.